Presentation on theme: "John Stuart Mill Jake, Maria, Stuart & Tommy. Life History Born May 20th, 1806 in London Father, James, was a economist, philosopher, and historian John."— Presentation transcript:
Life History Born May 20th, 1806 in London Father, James, was a economist, philosopher, and historian John was home schooled by his father -Very intense schooling -Father's goal was to make a genius At age 13 he started studying Smith and Ricardo -Completed some of their work
History continued... Around age twenty he started having mental issues Refused to study at Oxford and Cambridge Followed his father's footsteps into work at East Indian Company Married Harriet Taylor in 1851 He was Lord Rector at University of St. Andrews and served on Parliament in Westminster Died in France on May 8th, 1873 at age 66.
Influences on Work His Father, James Mill -Biggest influence -Utilitarianism Jeremy Bentham -Utilitarianism Aristotle & Socrates -Early years of schooling
Influences continued... David Ricardo -Family friend -Political economy Harriet Taylor, Wife -The Subjection of Women -On Liberty -Human Rights Samuel Bentham (Jeremy's Brother) -Lived with for a year in France -Math and Sciences
Early Works John Stuart Mill had many early works prior to his paper on Utilitarianism. They include among others: Views On Liberty Freedom of Speech Human Rights and Slavery Feminism
On Liberty Individual should be able to do as he pleases unless he harms others. Government should only interfere when it is for the protection of the society "The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."
Freedom of Speech without allowing them to hear what can be said on the contrary side Argued for Freedom of Speech based on political grounds saying that it is a critical component for a representative government to have in order to empower debate over public policy Personal growth and self realization Without being able to speak freely, how are we to know what a person can accomplish?
Human Rights/Feminism Responded to Thomas Carlyle's paper about genetic inferiority, in which he stated that there was in fact no genetic inferiority and that all men we capable of doing great things. In "The Subjection of Women," Mill argues for perfect equality. Mill believed that female roles were misconstrued in the days society. 3 Major Reasons for the Subjection of Women 1.Society and gender construction 2.Education 3.Marriage
UTILITARIANISM (1863) Chapter One: General Remarks Ongoing conflict of determining right and wrong o Morals vs Legislation o Problems with science: do not prove the "good" & leave out morals o Science of Morals Principle Law at Root of all Morality: decides for various conflicting principles o Great Happiness Principle Universal Principle & the origin and ground of moral obligation: "So act, that the rule on which thou actest would admit of being adopted as a law by all rational beings"
Chapter Two: What Utilitarianism Is FOUNDATION "Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, and wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness" pain vs pleasure o life has no higher end than pleasure, different kinds of pleasure being more desirable than others based on quantity and quality Dignity Factor: "Better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied" Expectations vs Accessibility Directive Rule of Human Conduct: "greatest amount of happiness all together" o one may be happier than another but acceptable as long as rest of world gains
Great Happiness Principle "The ultimate end"; "is an existence exempt as far as possible from pain, and as rich as possible in enjoyments, both in point of quantity and quality; the test of quality, and the rule for measuring it against quantity, being the preference felt by those who in their opportunities of experience, to which must be added their habits of self-consciousness and self-observation, are best furnished with the means of comparison." o the end of human action o standard of morality o the rules and precepts for human conduct Need to: o Balance o Sacrifice own happiness for someone elses: "highest virtue which can be found in a man" Object of Virtue: multiplication of happiness
Chapter Three: Of the Ultimate Sanction of the Principle of Utility How do we get people to behave in a proper way and to honor utilitarianism? Sanctions Internal vs. External Duty o Ultimate Sanction: in the conscience and feeling in mind Nature & Equality among population Opposition to Government, Politics, and Religion "
Chapter Four: Of What Sort of Proof the Principle of Utility is Susceptible PROOF "Sole evidence it is possible to produce that anything is desirable...that people actually desire it." o Happiness is a good: that each person's happiness is a good to that person, and the general happiness, therefore, a good to the aggregate of all persons. o People vary in other desires, but happiness is universal
Parts of Happiness Money o "Moving forces of human life, desire to possess it is stronger than desire to use it" o Principle ingredient of individual's consumption of happiness Virtue o Want people to desire virtue Habits In feeling and in conduct, habit gets in the way of doing good we rely on ourselves and each other, "habitual independence"
Chapter Five: On the Connection between Justice and Utility Justice Right and Wrong o Unjust: Depriving someone of the things they are allowed to by legal right Receive good for doing good In all languages, the word justice deals with the law, or conforming to the law, or a legal constraint, yet the "notion of justice varies in all different persons, and always conforms in its variations to their notion of utility"
Law "Valid claim on society to protect him in the possession of it" Do not restrict ones legal rights, but moral rights, thus no piece of justice can be carried out without trampling another 9\ Government contradicts equality
Unjust Actions o A wrong done o An assignable person performing a wrong done o An individual being harmed When are we legally constrained? When are we punished? What is the proper punishment? How is that determined? Law, our conscience & duty, or by others Punishment: Should be proportional to the offense
Adaptations of Utilitarianism Prioritarianism o Not to Maximize happiness, but to Minimize Pain o Not simply overall well-being o Compassion – Help out worse off individuals o Many people with average lives is better than a large deviation of well-being amongst people Situation A: Jim: 110 Jane: -70 Situation B: Jim: 20 Jane: 15
Repugnant Conclusion AKA Mere Addition Paradox As a population grows, the Wellbeing will decrease.. But there are more happy people Population Ethics Basically we need to acknowledge the fact that simply maximizing the utility is not the only important factor. Morality of growth of the population and a sense of duty to have children must be taken into account. Challenge of Modern ethics
What have we learned John Stuart Mill o British born Son to Economist/Philosopher o Unique upbringing o Many influences growing up such as: Jeremy Bentham, David Ricardo, Aristotle, His family (Wife, brother and father) o Had mental issues in his 20’s, died at the age of 66
Impacts on the world Early Works: o Liberty o Freedom of speech o Human Rights o Feminism Also: Limiting power of government, social liberty
Utilitarianism Conflict of Determining right and wrong The foundation Great Happiness Principle How to regulate and guide this idea Explain why happiness is so crucial Decisions about punishment and praise
The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy. "John Stuart Mill." Utilitarianism : Past, Present and Future. BLTC Research. Web. 11 Feb. 2012.. Econlib. "John Stuart Mill: The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics." Library of Economics and Liberty. Liberty Fund, Inc., 2008. Web. 11 Feb. 2012.. Mill, John Stuart. "Utilitarianism." Utilitarianism : Past, Present and Future. BLTC. Web. 24 Feb. 2012.. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/repugnant-conclusion/